Numerous classic comic characters have been “updated” over the decades in an effort to make them more appealing to new audiences, frequently with mixed results. But few makeovers have been as surprising, or apparently as successful, as King Features’ transformation of Olive Oyl into … well, a fashion icon of sorts.
Tall, rail-thin and large-footed, Olive Oyl looks essentially the same as she did when E.C. Segar introduced her in 1919 (a decade before Popeye debuted in the comic strip Thimble Theatre). Yet for the past decade, she’s served as inspiration for Italian designer Moschino, who’s created everything from bandanas to sweaters to jewelry bearing the character’s likeness; Spanish clothing retailer features her on nightwear and underwear, too. She even has her own website and fashion blog.
And in the August issue of Elle, there’s an eight-page spread devoted to fashion inspired by Ms. Oyl. Check out a couple of images below, and more at that link.
King Features Syndicate apparently has decided the best way to reinvigorate the 83-year-0ld Betty Boop is to kill her, and then resurrect her as a zombie.
At the Licensing Expo, held this week in Las Vegas, the company signaled it would like a little of that Walking Dead/Warm Bodies money by announcing it willtake the iconic cartoon and comic-strip character into “unexplored territory” with Betty Boop Zombie Love – which, as Topless Robot notes, does bring to mind necrophilia, which doesn’t seem like a recipe for merchandising bonanza.
“With a new style guide and art treatments, the wide-eyed beauty is clearly a victim of the zombie craze currently infecting the world,” the King Features press release states. So, yeah, expect the undead flapper to appear on clothing soon.